Guerlain’s Muguet

A limited-edition lily-of-the-valley perfume for May Day

Morris men, madrigals and maypoles on the green herald the coming of summer in England. The French, however, celebrate May Day by giving a sweet-scented bunch of lily-of-the-valleyto their dear ones. The very dearest ones may well receive Muguet (£370 for 75ml EDT, pictured), Guerlain’s annual lily-of-the-valley fragrance, which has been a tradition in the perfume house for the past nine years.

The first Muguet was in fact created by Jacques Guerlain in 1908, then reprised by his grandson Jean-Paul in 2007. In its current incarnation, deftly curated by Guerlain’s current master perfumer Thierry Wasser, the effect is dewy, youthful and exquisitely lifelike. For although poignantly fragrant, this flower is essentially “mute”, meaning its natural essence eludes extraction. The perfumer must therefore conjure its resonance by means of carefully balanced accords. Bergamot characterises the sappy freshness of new green leaves, while a hearty accord of Indian jasmine, lilac, and rose petals captures a soft, lingering sweetness.


This year, this uniquely uplifting fragrance pays especially fond homage to its origins. A limited edition of 1,659 numbered pure white porcelain flacons, made by the renowned Limoges studio Artoria, copy the simple, elegant lily-of-the-valley relief-design of that original 1908 glass bottle. A diaphanous green ribbon tied around each slender neck is the final flourish. May the joy be unconfined…

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